Melrose Place - Season 1, Episode 6
Recap: The Melrose Place gang is over at Alison’s and Billy’s, enjoying a spirited game of poker. Alison wins the jackpot by bluffing her way through a shitty hand, then natters about her method of learning how to play poker: cramming the night before, the way she did before acing her exams during her high school/college days. Rhonda, meanwhile, invites Matt to attend a modern ballet performance with her and says she mostly wants to check it out ‘cause the lead dancer is an old friend of hers... and Matt hems and haws about how bored he is by dance performances before reluctantly agreeing to go.
Jake stops by Alison’s place the next morning and says he’d like to talk to her about “a proposition” this evening. She asks him if it’s sex related, looks disappointed when he says no, then agrees to come over at 7pm.
That evening, Matt is transfixed by the awesomeness of the modern ballet performance and tells Rhonda that her friend Teresa is an amaaaazing dancer.
During the proposition meeting, Jake tells Alison all about how shit his childhood was - living in a trailer, etc. - and that he got kicked out of the trailer once he took a disliking to his mother’s drunken boyfriend. As a result of being thrown out onto the street at a tender age, he never got a chance to finish school and is now planning to take the high school equivalency test on Monday morning...and needs Alison to help him study.
Rhonda and Matt go backstage after the modern ballet performance...and Matt gushes to Teresa about what an amaaaazing dancer she is, while a pouty-faced Rhonda half-heartedly agrees. Teresa suggests that the three of them go out for a bite to eat...and before Rhonda can decline, Matt excitedly chirps, “Yes please!” LOL.
At a nearby diner, Teresa lays it on thick about how much she loooooves getting paid to live her dream - unlike Rhonda, who missed out on the opportunity five years ago after she [pretended she] sprained her ankle the day before the audition. Teresa tells Rhonda that there will be open auditions this episode and condescendingly urges her to sign up...'cause surely there's no way she'd want to spend the rest of her life teaching cardio funk to scantily clad L.A. aerobicizers. Rhonda glares back at her, her face scrunched in a peeved expression.
As Alison helps Jake cram for the GED, he complains about how fried his tiny brain is getting.
In the Melrose Place courtyard, Matt urges Rhonda to audition for the dance troupe, but she's like, "Hell no" and disdainfully calls the troupe "a piddly dance company". She haughtily claims that she’s a waaaay better dancer than Teresa...and when Matt’s like, “So prove it”, she mutters that she's too old and that too much time has passed. Matt argues that this second audition opportunity is clearly fate, then asks, “What do you have to lose?” Rhonda bitchily brushes off the fate remark as “mythical nonsense” and storms up to her apartment.
Early the next morning, Billy knocks on Michael's/Jane's door to report that Alison never made it home last night, and that he’s worried something terrible may have happened to her. Michael just shrugs and says she probably got lucky last night - just as Rhonda ambles over and looks impressed to hear that Alison may have finally gotten herself some action. When Sandy gets wind of all the tittering, she tells Billy to grow up and that Alison’s a big girl...and a few seconds later, Alison emerges from Jake’s apartment looking quasi-sheepish. She tells everyone it’s not what they think, but that she can’t/won’t provide an explanation for why she and Jake just spent the entire night together. As everyone disperses and returns to their apartments with visual alerts going off in their heads, Sandy angrily mutters, “Jake does it again.”
Billy asks Alison whassup with making it look as though she were getting it on with Jake all night, but she refuses to discuss it with him other than to say that she and Jake just spent the evening talking.
Teresa stops by the cardio funk studio while Rhonda is prepping for her next class. Rhonda tells her she’s decided to audition for the dance troupe after all and has a bunch of ideas about how to make their performance more funky...and we get to suffer through a gratuitous montage of the two of them performing a synchronized dance routine.
After the montage, Teresa thanks her for “the warmup”, then smugly says she’s off to rehearsal. She suggests they get together for a bite after the show...and when Rhonda suggests a pasta place, Teresa makes a seriously? face and advises against eating anything so fattening. Rhonda breezily insists that her super fast metabolism can handle it, but Teresa looks doubtful and is all, “Whatever you say, tubby.”
Billy stops by Shooters to ask Sandy what she thinks about Alison and Jake hooking up, and Sandy just shrugs unhappily and says that it is possible for opposites to attract. We then get to suffer through fake flashbacks of what they each think happened between Alison and Jake...and Sandy makes a big deal out of insisting how little she cares about the possibility that Alison is riding Jake’s baloney pony and thoroughly enjoying it.
During another study session, Alison tells Jake how fun it is for her to look over all the study aids after graduating from high school so long ago...then tells him she never really fit in with the cool kids and just focused on getting good grades so she could get into college. As they blab about their hopes for the future, Alison tells him not to worry so much about the equivalency test...'cause even though she earned a college degree, she's so much of a mess that she still has no idea where her career as a D&D receptionist is going. That's fair to say, I'm sure. She then informs him that everyone in the building thinks they’re having an affair, and that she's amused by their wild imaginations.
After eating at the pasta restaurant (where Teresa didn’t eat the pasta), Rhonda calls her out on being so obnoxiously smug about taking her spot in the dance troupe five years ago. Teresa insists that she would have made it onto the troupe regardless, then chides Rhonda for being jealous and bitter. Rhonda counter-snarks about the way she keeps rubbing her nose in the fact that her [fake] ankle injury prevented her from auditioning, then sassily adds, “Get ready for some competition!”
The next morning, Billy suggests to Alison that they go to the beach, but she declines ‘cause she has to spend the day with Jake. When she refuses to elaborate on what they do when they're together, Billy complains about being kept in the dark and pouts about how emotionally distant she’s being.
After a contentious looking cardio funk class, Rhonda bitches to Matt about how she’s squandering her potential in this aerobic wasteland.
Jake and Alison are out at a bar, doing some last minute studying on state capitals, when Jake shuts it down and says his tiny brain is officially fried beyond repair. He tells her to gather her stuff and get ready for a quasi-sexy adventure.
Matt drops by Rhonda’s dance studio, where she’s rehearsing for the audition. He tells her he’s worried that she’s “putting too much on the line”, but she assures him she’s used to pushing herself hard as a dancer...then tells him the embarrassing story of what really happened five years ago. Apparently, she got so wigged out by the pressure to succeed that she faked her ankle injury to avoid auditioning...but for some reason told the truth to her father, who never forgave her for being such a wussy coward. She scrunches her face sadly and says she still hasn’t forgiven herself, but is pretty sure she’s now mature enough to handle the pressure of auditioning for an obscure dance troupe no one's ever heard of.
Jake takes Alison for a motorcycle ride to a secluded spot on high ground that overlooks the L.A. city lights. When she smilingly tells him that no one’s ever taken her here before, he smirkily says she’s been going out with the wrong guys. He tells her that when he was in high school, “good girls” like herself barely gave him the time of day...and when Alison hints that she digs his rugged vibe and smokin' hot muscular bod, the two get into some intense smooching.
Over breakfast the next morning, Alison apologizes to Billy for all the secrecy, and explains that she’s been helping Jake study for his high school equivalency test. Billy lets out a huge sigh of relief and says it makes total sense now, and that the idea of her and Jake hitting the sheets is totes ridiculous. Alison starts nattering about people’s facades and how everyone should make an effort to see what’s underneath...blah blah...then says she got to know Jake a lot better this episode and realized that despite his hotness, she mostly just likes him in a platonic type way.
Sandy tells Jake that if he and Alison think they’re right for each other, they have her [needless] blessing and should go for it. Jake clarifies that Alison has been helping him study for the high school equivalency test, and that he kept it a boring secret 'til now ‘cause he's always felt like the dumb one in the apartment complex. Sandy looks visibly relieved, chirps, “That’s great!”, and says that despite her dead end Shooters job and vapid southern belle demeanor, he could have come to her for study help - but he wanks her by saying he didn’t want the distraction of studying with someone he might possibly want to bone again in the future.
Audition time! Backstage, Rhonda tells Matt she’s super confident about her dancing abilities - and that she's in a good place, pressure-wise, to be peddling her performance wares in front of a panel of dance company people. Matt wishes her good luck and coos about how much he’ll pretend to miss her when she eventually leaves Melrose Place [after the writers decided they had no real direction for the show's sole black character and awkwardly wrote her out of the script] ... and a few seconds later, she’s called in to audition. I resisted the urge to fast forward through her audition performance, which was shown in its excruciating entirety...and when she finishes, the impressed director thanks her for coming in. Rhonda bounds backstage and excitedly tells Matt she thinks she did amaaaazing. Teresa slips backstage to congratulate her on her stupendous dancing and says she’ll surely get a callback...then ‘fesses up about how insecure she's always felt about whether or not she truly earned her spot in the dance troupe after Rhonda withdrew. Rhonda assures her she earned her spot fair and square five years ago, and that it has little to do with her cowardly inability to cope with the pressure of a mere audition. She then informs Teresa that she’s so happy living in her shitty Melrose Place apartment and earning a meager living teaching cardio funk that she’s not actually interested in being in a dance troupe anymore.
Alison meets Jake outside the GED testing place, and he happily tells her he’s pretty sure he aced the test. She tells him that while she really enjoyed flirting with him this episode, she's chalking up their kissing action to a now fulfilled high school fantasy of hooking up with “the bad boy”. He tells her he's totes kewl with that, and the two head over to Shooters for a beer.
The Melrose Place gang surprises Jake at Shooters with a free beer and an impromptu graduation celebration. Sandy tells Alison how relieved she is that she and Jake were never actually hitting the sheets, and Alison exclaims, “Of course not!”, then amuses herself by needling Sandy when she adds, “But he’s a great kisser!” Sandy’s all, “Wha-a?!” and glares after her with a WTF? expression as the scene fades to black. Haha!
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9/30/2020 10:39:09 pm
I’m having a hard time caring for any of these characters... I like the concept of 90219 for young adults, but so far something is off. The only character I feel a bit involved in the storylines is Rhonda.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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